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Old 12-14-2016, 07:38 PM   #1
mudrat
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Cascade Waterfall and Slide - Winter is Here 2016 December 10

Distance to runout: 500 feet
Length of runout and slide: .75 mile
Slide elevation gain: 1,400 feet
Maximum width: 240 feet

Photo Set: https://goo.gl/photos/yGKMgnEqepweyaLv6

CLICK TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD FULL SIZE IMAGE


It was time to dust off the ice tools and take a run up Cascade Slide. Warm weather turned cold and built the waterfall quickly though it was completely frozen for this adventure. Nolan Huther joined me for his first multi-pitch ice climb.

We walked down to the isthmus between the lakes and looked up at the climb at around 8:30 a.m. Water was clearly running at the top which tends to be the sketchy section. The view from below didn’t look particularly inspiring, but I suggested that we take a walk up and give it a go as far as we could. I used the short approach to build my ambition. Sometimes I feel better once I’m actually climbing. This turned out to be a good choice. At the base, we found consistent ice and it looked like I had route choices at the top. My concerns revolved around ice screw placements, something I don’t have to consider when soloing the falls.

Killer Photo of us climbing from Pitchoff courtesy of Fran Shumway.


The climb went smoothly though there was a fair amount of air in the ice. Placing the screws was tricky when I set up an anchor about halfway up—there wasn’t much quality ice to work with. I reached the upper pitches and listened to the 4” hollow ice resound underfoot as I climbed above running water. At the top, I moved to the right side where it looked fun and challenging. I climbed up partway and kicked my left foot into a bulge. It wasn’t bonded and fell into the falls. Higher I struggled for good placements and bent the tip of the pick on rock under a crust of ice and snow. Grumbling, I moved into the running water and topped the route—crampons rock and the tools in ice.

Atop the falls I set up a final belay from a stout cedar. Nolan climbed as I chipped ice off the rope before it went through the belay device. Thereafter, we soloed the slide. There are about 4 more good pitches. One lies immediately after the main waterfall. The second is before an obvious dike which transforms into an ice chute during the winter—a very unique area. The third is a 30 foot wall of nearly vertical multicolored ice and the fourth lies at the top on ice covered slab. In between each pitch lies sections of snow slogging and smaller ledges.

My usual MO is to bushwhack to the summit, but Nolan had a deadline and it only takes about 45 minutes to descend via the woods along the slide. We began the descent in 3 foot deep unconsolidated snow and made good time along the north side. We avoided the falls as well as Green Gully at the bottom and arrived at the parking lot around 2:30 p.m.

Most of my outings push me hard, this was a nice relaxing change and good way to dial in the layers and gear. It was a good reminder of why I love ice. Climbing is only part of the equation and seeking a “rush” doesn’t factor in at all. I’m enthralled by the colors and sculptures underfoot at every step as well as spending quality time with good friends. Here’s to a solid winter of cold adventures!

CRUX ON THE RIGHT...ROCK UNDER ICE AFTER THE VERTICAL AREA

BLUE CALCITE UNDER ICE


NOLAN IN THE TRAP DIKE/ICE CHUTE


THE FREEDOM OF SOLOING (3RD PITCH OF THE SLIDE)


AHH...SLIDE VIEWS


NOLAN ON ONE OF THE UPPER RUNS OF ICE
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:00 PM   #2
1bluefin
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Cascade slide

Great photos and looks like quite the undertaking. Very cool expedition.
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